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(UK) Dorset: SPED numbers double to nearly 3,000 in five yrs

Mar 30, 2021, (UK) PlanetRadio: £37.5 million [$52M US] approved for new SEND schools and facilities in Dorset https://planetradio.co.uk/greatest-hits/dorset/news/millions-agreed-new-send-schools-facilities-dorset/

SW England Plans to build new schools and develop facilities in existing Dorset schools for Special education needs and disability (SEND)** children and young people have been approved. £37.5 million has been secured for the next five years to help deliver to council's plan of giving them the young people and children with SEND the best education. Dorset Council also wants to develop new facilities at many mainstream schools, such as special bases, to support those with SEND. These plans, which were recently approved by councillors will be examined again at Dorset Council's Cabinet meeting on 6th April when the Capital Programme for 2021-22 is considered. Cllr Andrew Parry, Dorset Council Portfolio Holder for Children, Education and Early Help, said: "We have to be bold if we are to secure the best education for all children in Dorset. I am proud of these ambitious plans, which I believe will improve the lives of Dorset children and young people with SEND. "I know people will ask 'why are we spending money at this difficult time' but we have to, firstly because we want to make Dorset the best place to grow-up for all children and young people, but also because creating our own high quality provision will save money in the longer term." The plans will also help reduce some costs for those with children and young people living with SEND have to be sent away for education. Independent provision costs around £60,000 a year per child, compared to around £22,000 for high quality provision at one of Dorset's own special schools. Currently more than 250 Dorset children and young people have to attend independent provision at a cost of around £14 million [$19M] a year. Dorset Council are developing plans as they believe the need for more special education provision is growing in the county. There were 1,000 children and young people with Education, Health and Care Plans in Dorset in 2015, but by 2020 it had almost doubled to nearly 3,000.